(WXYZ) - Kwame Kilpatrick’s new court appointed lawyer is asking a judge to grant the former mayor a new trial. Kilpatrick already filed his own brief asking for his verdict to be overturned, in part because he said his lawyer was ineffective. Now attorney Harold Gurewitz says the conflict of interest that was raised in the case before the trial got underway is a reason to give Kilpatrick a new trial.
In August 2012, the 7 Action News Investigators first reported that long-time Kilpatrick attorney Jim Thomas had previously represented towing contractor Gasper Fiore. Fiore was once on the witness list for the historic Kilpatrick Corruption Trial. One month before the trial was slated to begin, Kilpatrick told Judge Nancy Edmunds that he could no longer work with Thomas since Thomas’ representation of Fiore was a conflict of interest. To keep the case from getting derailed, federal prosecutors dropped the charge that referred to Fiore.
But now Gurewitz says Kilpatrick deserves a new trial because the court never got a waiver from Kilpatrick about the conflict of interest. Kilpatrick says his relationship with Thomas was destroyed, and says he was denied his Sixth Amendment right to effective and conflict-free counsel.
In March, a jury convicted the former mayor and his friend, Bobby Ferguson, of racketeering, bribery and other charges. His father, Bernard Kilpatrick, was convicted on a tax charge.
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